We scour the news around the NFL to bring you what matters most to you and your dynasty team: the most current news on players, both superstars and the relative unknowns, and analysis to decipher the respective situations. These are many of the major stories and not meant to be an exhaustive look at all the recent happenings around the league.
After the loss to the Chiefs, Sunday, 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan told reporters that he feared quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo would miss the rest of the season with an ACL tear. The severity of the injury was confirmed Monday. He injured the leg when staying inbounds at the end of the fourth quarter instead of stepping out. This means that San Francisco’s two high-priced offensive players have been lost for the season with ACL injuries. Jerick McKinnon was injured just a few weeks ago. The offense will take a step back under C.J. Beathard. Expect him to target tight end George Kittle often as the two played together at Iowa.
With the strong play of Baker Mayfield on Thursday night, attention quickly turned to Josh Rosen and why he had not seen the field over ineffective veteran Sam Bradford. When asked by the media last week, Cardinals General Manager Steve Keim said Josh Rosen will start "when the time is right." Keim went on to say, "Some guys have played too early and it has crippled their career … There are guys who have come in and had success right away. But usually it's a rocky road." Maybe the team was holding Rosen back because of the state of the offensive line. Rosen played in the second half in the loss against the Bears. Dynasty owners are interested to see if the rookie will live up to the hype. Will he get the start next week? Both Mayfield and Sam Darnold have shown promise and should start in Week 4. But, those teams have more talent around the youngsters. It has not been that long ago that saying the Cardinals had less talent than the Jets and Browns would be considered heresy, but this is well-recognized now. Arizona is lacking talent on both sides of the ball and the loss of coach Bruce Arians has only exasperated the issue. Bradford was benched against the Bears after three turnovers in a short period of time, but Rosen showed he still has room to grow. He entered the game with under five minutes to play and the Cardinals needing a comeback. What a tough spot for a rookie. On Monday, coach Steve Wilks announced that Rosen will start at quarterback going forward, beginning with the Week 4 matchup against Seattle. The offense desperately needs a spark.
After trading for the quarterback, it was no surprise to see coach Sean Payton call Teddy Bridgewater the Saints backup to Drew Brees. Payton had this to say about Bridgewater, "He's a quick study … I think right away, you can tell he got comfortable with what we're calling things, protections." Playing behind one of the more durable passers in NFL history, Bridgewater should be given time to learn the New Orleans system and be ready to lead the Saints offense if Brees misses action.
One injury to watch this week is the hamstring of Dalvin Cook. He missed the lopsided loss to the Bills after vowing all week to play. We are uncertain if the severity of the injury warranted the absence or the team did not want to take a chance of re-injury in a game the Vikings were supposed to win. During the tie against the Packers where he was injured, Cook said the injury was just cramping. With the poor showing by the other backs, we hope Cook is back against the Rams on Thursday night.
As though Alex Collins fantasy owners were not annoyed enough by his lack of workload, Ravens coach John Harbaugh confirmed last week that tailback Kenneth Dixon is a candidate to return from injured reserve later in the year. Dixon is eligible to return for Week 11. Until then, Javorius Allen will be the bane of Collins fantasy fanatics.
Last week, quarterback Andy Dalton was gushing about Tyler Boyd. Dalton said of the third-year receiver, "He understands running routes … He’s versatile. You can move him around. He’s had a lot of production in the slot and we’ve been able to move him around too." Most in the fantasy community expected John Ross to step up opposite A.J. Green, but it has been Boyd who has put up big numbers. Boyd had another strong outing in the loss to the Panthers on Sunday afternoon.
After the trade of Josh Gordon to the Patriots, Cleveland Head Coach Hue Jackson told reporters that rookie Antonio Callaway is now a starter. Jackson said, "We were not trying to push him too fast, not give him too much … Now, he has to take it all. It’s time." A talented receiver who has only been held back by his off-field issues at Florida could emerge as one of the top rookie pass catchers. He has immense talent and now needs to make good decisions and stay out of the news. With Mayfield under center, Callaway could be a big-play machine.
Needing receiver depth, the Eagles signed Jordan Matthews. He was a second-round pick of the team in 2014 and is still only 26 years of age. The veteran was traded to Buffalo and has battled injuries since leaving the team. Matthews still has a relationship with Carson Wentz and could make an impact as the season progresses. If so, it will be as a possession receiver out of the slot. Matthews never was a speedster and definitely is not fast after the injuries.
Mike Wallace signed with Philadelphia this offseason with expectations that the veteran would offer a speed threat to the Eagles offense. Torrey Smith was not effective. But, Wallace broke his fibula in Week 2 against Tampa Bay and was placed on injured reserve. He will be eligible to return later in the season. For the near-term, Kamar Aiken will replace Wallace in the lineup. The Wallace injury came at a difficult time for the team as Alshon Jeffery and Mack Hollins also on the shelf.
Evan Engram sprained his MCL in the victory over the Texans on Sunday. He had just one 19-yard reception before the injury and was quickly ruled out for the remainder of the contest, creating concern that the injury was serious. Adam Schefter called the injury ”week to week” so fantasy owners should not look for him to be fantasy viable for a couple of weeks. Rhett Ellison will be a fantasy sleeper until Engram returns. But, the news is good that his absence will not be season-long.